Tired of all the negative election news? Well, here is a nonpartisan election with one very cute candidate.
Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s newest addition needs a name, and your votes will help him get one.
The male African lion cub has been in isolation with his mother, Kiki, in the lions’ holding area since his birth on Oct. 11. Kiki has been protective of her cub, generally keeping him to herself. In fact, zoo officials had not been able to determine the sex of the cub until Tuesday.
But now that they know it’s a boy, they are seeking help from the zoo-going public to name him and, at the same time, help raise money for carnivore conservation.
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The naming contest will continue through Nov. 27. The winning name will be announced shortly after.
Zoo staff have selected six Swahili names to choose from:
▪ Enzi (powerful)
▪ Kijani (warrior)
▪ Asani (rebellious)
▪ Erevu (clever)
▪ Mansa (king)
▪ Bwani (gentleman)
How does it work?
The zoo will have a collection box at the lion viewing area with the six potential names for the lion cub. Zoo-goers are asked to vote for their favorite name by placing wooden tokens in the collection boxes. Tokens may be purchased at the zoo’s admission booth or the market gift shop in African Adventure for $1 each. The name with the most votes will become the cub’s official name.
Where does the money go?
All money collected in the naming project will be donated to the Ruaha Carnivore Project in Tanzania. The project, part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, aims to help develop conservation strategies for large carnivores in Tanzania’s remote Ruaha landscape, which includes Ruaha National Park, the largest park in Tanzania and the second largest in Africa.
When can we see him?
Zoo officials plan to let Kiki and her cub set the tone for introduction to the zoo’s other lions (Zamaya, a female from Zoo Atlanta, and Chisulo, a male from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.), as well as to keepers and the public.
Lions were reintroduced to the zoo as part of the African Adventure exhibit last year. Before the opening, it had been about 15 years since a lion was on exhibit at the zoo. The cub’s birth marked the first time since 1968 that such a birth has occurred there, according to zoo officials.
Weather permitting, it may be two to three months before the zoo puts the cub on display, officials said.